Born in 1929, John Julius Norwich served in the foreign office for twelve years before resigning in 1964 in order to write. His many publications include his two-book history published by Penguin in one volume entitled The Normans in Sicily; two travel books, Mount Athos (with Reresby Sitwell) and Sahara; The Architecture of Southern England; Glyndebourne; three anthologies of poetry and prose, Christmas Crackers, More Christmas Crackers and Still More Christmas Crackers; A History of Venice; and his three-volume history of the Byzantine empire of which this is the first, Byzantium: The Apogee is the second, and Byzantium: The Decline and Fall is the third. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Geographical Society and the Society of Antiquaries, a Companion of the Royal Victorian Order and a Commendatore of the Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana.
Krum (800-14); the return of iconoclasm (814-29); Theophilus (829-42); the images restored (842-56); of patriarchs and plots (857-66); double murder (866-7); Basil the Macedonian (867-86); Leo the Wise (886-912); the rise of Romanus (912-20); the gentle usurper (920-48); the scholar emperor (945-63); the white death of the Saracens (963-9); John Tzimisces (969-76); the young Basil (976-89) the Bulgar-Slayer (989-1025); the decline begins (1025-41); the end of the Paphlagonians (1041-2); Constantine Monomachus and the schism (1042-55); prelude to catastrophe (1055-9); Manzikert (1059-81). List of emperors; list of Muslim sultans; list of patriarchs; list of popes.